It is business time in New York. As the season’s final Grand Slam enters its second week, the top guns on both the men’s and women’s side of the draw are looking to bring their A-game in the sprint to the finish line. With two women’s quarterfinal matches and both Djokovic and Murray seen in action on Tuesday, there was plenty of interest for fans and media alike.
Defending champion and World No.1 Serena Williams made the headlines following her demolition of 18th seed Carla Suarez Navarro. Williams looked in imperious form in inflicting the first “double bagel” (6-0, 6-0) in a quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows since 1989, as pointed out by Howard Fendrich of Associated Press in the Boston Globe. The swirling wind, so typical of the Arthur Ashe stadium did not seem to bother Serena, who is just a couple of wins away from her fifth U.S Open title. The diminutive Spaniard had a pretty good run here at Flushing Meadows, beating the 8th seeded German Angelique Kerber in 3 exciting sets in the previous round. But she was no match for the 16-time Grand Slam champ on Tuesday night, who now faces China’s Li Na in the semi-final.
The defending champion on the men’s side, however, was not as convincing as his female counterpart. Third seeded Scot Andy Murray got off to a sluggish start in the last match of the day here at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Showing glimpses of his pre-Lendl whiny days, Murray dropped the first set to the extremely talented Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan. But it was business as usual in the 2nd set, as he clinched it with a loss of just a single game before closing out the match in four sets, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. In the words of Howard Fendrich in the Boston Herald, it was the ultimate result that truly mattered most and Murray got the job done, barring a few glitches. The Scot will now take on the Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
Tuesday marked the end of Lleyton Hewitt’s impressive run here at the Open. He was beaten by 21st seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny in five close sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-5. At age 32 and coming off a painful toe surgery, the Aussie surpassed everyone’s expectations but his own when he beat Del Potro in a thriller on Friday. And he was just two points away from reaching his first U.S Open quarterfinal in 7 years, but could not quite close it out. “It’s one of the hardest games to win – the last one,” Hewitt said. Youzhny will now play World No.1 Novak Djokovic for a place in the last four.
The Serb like Serena, was in no mood to waste any time as he cruised to a dominating 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 win over Spain’s Marcel Granollers, running away with the last 15 games of the match as Ben Rothenberg writes in the New York Times.
With Fed-Express out of the picture, Christopher Clarey writes an interesting piece in The New York Times about adjusting to lower expectations and how both Hewitt and Federer, who were once dominating men’s tennis, gradually come to terms with their underdog status on tour.
With routines wins and some not so routine ones, day 9 at the U.S Open gave sports writers plenty to talk about on Wednesday.